To force the government to validate a probe of their conditions of service, Malawi Judiciary employees have started a strike today.
The Judiciary workers also demand the government increase their salaries plus allowances in the short run.
Charles Lizigeni, the Judiciary Union President asserted that the terms of conditions for members of staff for the Judiciary are reviewed every three years and the last review was in 2018.
Unfortunately to date, the approval is in vain since the government through the Ministry of Finance has not yet approved the 2021 review. This is what exactly judiciary workers demand.
Nevertheless, just like in Uganda, the Judiciary is one of the arms of the Government in Malawi. In Malawi, the Head of the Judiciary is the Chief Justice who is also the Supreme Court Judge.
The Justice system is divided into three-fold the magistrate Courts that is to say the High Court and the Supreme Court, there are other special courts, for instance, the industrial courts and on specific occasions a constitutional court.
It should be remembered that after getting rid of the ministry’s empty promises to the judiciary in November, Lizigeni informed the ministry about this strike.
He did this by writing to them and hence alerting them that they will be putting tools into their labour starting on 10 December.
With judicial courts shut down, Lizigeni has since argued that the courts will not be in a position to make go not until the government works on them.
In addition to the above, currently, the Blantyre High Court has been closed by the workers. Lawyers, police officers and Judiciary clients are not allowed to enter.
While addressing the local media, the Malawi Law Society (MLS) president Patrick Mpaka has called upon the authorities to settle the issues in peace because it violates people’s right to access justice.
With heartfelt worries, he revealed his concern that the strike is being staged at a time the Supreme Court was supposed to deliver a series of pending judgements.
In conclusion, therefore, it seems Malawi’s government has lost direction but we look forward to it resolving the judicial issues since the judiciary in Malawi is part of the government.